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Now SNP bans underground coal gasification

The SNP has ruled out underground coal gasification in Scotland, placing it alongside shale gas on the banned list.

Energy minister Paul Wheelhouse confirmed today, following expert advice, the he would change planning rules to ensure the practice couldn’t take place.

However, the Scottish Government’s own adviser cited a poor regulatory framework as one of the reasons it shouldn’t get the go ahead, something the SNP is responsible for.

The Scottish Conservatives have criticised the decision, saying UCG could provide thousands of jobs and inject millions into the economy.

And while different from fracking, the party said many of the SNP’s objections to it were similarly rooted in dogma rather than science and reality.

Scottish Conservative energy spokesman Alexander Burnett said:

“It’s deeply disappointing that the Scottish Government is taking this stance – it’s yet another missed opportunity.

“The SNP has closed the door on shale, and now it’s doing the same for underground coal gasification.

“These technologies could create thousands of jobs, boost the economy and lower future energy bills.

“The SNP is at great pains to say how different fracking and UCG are – perhaps their biggest similarity is the SNP’s dogmatic objection to them both.

“Even the Scottish Government’s own adviser is partially blaming ministers for not having the proper regulatory regime in place as a reason for this not happening.

“If we don’t start embracing these technologies, we risk getting left behind altogether.”


Notes to editors:

For more on the Scottish Government ban, visit:

The SNP has already been criticised for ruling out fracking:

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